Effects of Cesarean on Baby | Blog By Dr. Surinder Kaur Gambhir Parasbliss Panchkula Effects of Cesarean on Baby | Blog By Dr. Surinder Kaur Gambhir Parasbliss Panchkula

How Does a Cesarean Affect the Baby

How Does a Cesarean Affect the Baby

by: Dr. Surinder Kaur Gambhir
Sr. Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynecology Paras Bliss, Panchkula

The WHO states that the rate of cesarean section should be 10-15%. In high income countries such as Australia, Britain, America one third of all mothers give birth by cesarean section each year. Cesarean section is important and can save lives. It is performed when the baby is at risk.

Weigh the pros and cons of C Section Delivery :

All operations carry some risks. A cesarean section involves major surgery in your tummy and pelvic area. If it is planned and you are fit and healthy sometimes cesarean section is needed to save the life of mother or baby. Then there is no option. In some case your doctor often give you choice between induced labour and c-section sometimes in induced labour you have to do interventions like ventouse or forceps that also carry risks. So you and your doctor will need to weigh the risks against the risk and benefits of cesarean section.

Babies and C Section Delivery:

  • Birth by cesarean section poses several challenges for a baby compared to babies born virginally. Babies born by cesarean section are at risk for health complications.
  • Babies are more likely to have difficulty in breathing on their own. Many have respiratory complications with a cesarean mother and babies are likely to have skin to skin contact immediately after birth.
  • Skin to skin contact have sensual adaptation benefits for the new born.
  • Medication that sedate the mother can affect the new born’s ability to lately breastfeed.
  • Drugs used for anesthesia including epidural cross the placental barrier and make it more difficult for the mother to breast feed.
  • Sometimes new born’s mouth, esophagus and airways can also make it more difficult for breast feeding.

Fetal Lactation:

There is rare chances of the baby getting knick during incision, risk factors are more:

  • Ruptured membrane before cesarean section
  • Active labour
  • Emergency cesarean section
  • Low trauma incision

Elective cesarean section has greater risks for the baby:

Elective cesarean section has greater risks of the baby born with prematurity. Estimated due dates are based on ultrasound and the women menstrual cycle can be wrong. Baby born between 34th and 36th week of pregnancy is considered late preterm. Being born a week early can increase the risk of complication for the baby despite being of similar size and weight to full term babies.

  • Respiratory problem: Babies who are born by cesarean section before 39 weeks are more likely to suffer from respiratory distress syndrome than babies born vaginally. The last few weeks in the uterus are vital for the development of lung surfactant. Being born before term significantly affects the level of substance that helps babies to breath. Respiratory distress syndrome is a serious medical condition that requires treatment in the NICU.
  • Mother infant attachment: It is more likely to be delayed. Holding, touching and caring the baby enhances attachment between the mothers after birth. Minimizing the separation of babies from mother reduces the stress in healthy new born and mother. So encourage skin to skin contact between mother and baby as soon as possible for at least one hour.

  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension: Pulmonary hypertension is four times higher for babies born by elective cesarean section than for babies born vaginally. Babies who are born premature also have increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension. When the babies are born the blood vessels in the lungs relax to allow blood to flow. This allows the blood to exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen.
  • Wet lungs: While babies are in the uterus, their lungs are filled with the fluid during labour. The contractions press and squeeze the babies which help to expel the fluid. It is characterize by fast and labored breathing during the first few days of life. Babies with this condition require oxygen they also need IV fluids. Baby may need antibiotics also in case of infections.


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